The character animator is Studio Soi’s latest recruit
How did you get your job at Soi?
I applied in October 2016 and got the job one month later. I saw shows they did on TV back in the UK – like The Gruffalo – and loved them. Plus there was the chance to work in another country for a while.
What does your role involve?
I’m one of the 3D animators, so I move the characters on-screen around. I’m working on a children’s CG TV series. The team are a few episodes in, which is great because it enables me to get a feel for the style of the show.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
I’m infamous among people I’ve worked with before for pushing poses on characters to the absolute limits, and making characters look a bit over the top. It’s great for big cartoony things, but this show has real charm to it, which is helped in no small part by the subtle character performances in the animation. So I’m really trying to work on simple, smaller poses for characters and attempting to get an audience’s reaction from that.
What’s it like to work at Studio Soi?
It’s nerve-wracking – everyone here is so talented. I feel like I’ve won a competition to be working here. But the staff are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Everyone has made me feel so welcome, which is so important, especially when dealing with the culture shock of moving to a new country for a job.
What sort of training have you undertaken so far?
The supervising animator here has gone through the shots with me, easing me into the style of the show by doing a few test shots. He’s already teaching me a lot about the power of more subtle, subdued character poses when animating characters. He’s also really helped to show me what an animator can do to retain quality animation, but to do it with speed, which is always one of the most important things in a show like this.
What advice would you give to a young artist wanting to work somewhere like Studio Soi?
I’m trying so hard not to sound like a cliché, but honestly: work hard, have fun animating and let that show in your reel when you apply. Studios get hundreds of applications and there’s a load of competition, so it’s a huge help if you can stand out from the crowd.
https://vimeo.com/user5897285 When not working on Studio Soi’s new stopmotion-style CG TV series for kids, British character animator Ben is getting used to life in Germany.